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Truth-torn Flesh

't start out with a project. For that matter, I didn't even start out with a goal. I've found that a lot of people tend to start out that way, in body modification. No real idea of why they're doing it ­ or, if they do, a pretty shallow reason. It looks cool, it's supposed to make sex better, something like that. I was fortunate enough to know those were not my reasons... even if I didn't really understand why I had the urge to let someone stick a large hollow needle through my flesh. I needed it done. Not 'wanted.' It wasn't really a choice. I suppose I should explain that, by nature, I'm a rather spiritual person. However, I'm definitely not spiritual or religious in a "traditional" manner. It's hard to be traditionally spiritual when you're an atheist and you don't believe in an immortal soul. To compound things, people tend to think I worship the devil and hate all things which are 'good' and 'pure.' This is, naturally, rather inaccurate, but that doesn't stop people from assuming. I'm a Satanist, you see, and people have a lot of misconceptions about Satanism as a whole. Like we're misled, for example. This, especially, isn't true. Like all religions and spiritualities, we have our views and our outlooks on life, but as a whole we attempt to find the most honest, self-enlightening, and happiest way to go through life. Which is where the piercings come in to play.

My first piercing was my tongue ­ 12 gauge, later stretched to 10. When I got it done, I had a vague notion of why I needed it done. In hindsight, I understand my motivations much better. In short, it was a psychological challenge to myself. Needles and pain have both been something that I've attempted to avoid in life. The challenge was to face both fears and overcome them ­ to let a complete stranger place a large, long needle through a very thick and sensitive piece of flesh. So, courage firmly balled up and placed in a (hopefully) conveniently-reachable spot, off to the piercer's I went. I was very proud of myself afterwards. Even though the piercing had been pretty run-of-the-mill, as far as tongue piercings go, it had been a major psychological hurdle overcome. I now knew, without any doubt, that I could willingly submit myself to my worst fears in order to gain an ultimate desire. Point proven, lesson learned, and the end of body modification for me. For five months. In the following April, I had that feeling again. I set a bet with myself ­ another challenge, another weakness of will to be overcome. I've always hated working out, and never have been able to hold an exercise routine more than a few days before dropping it. The legacy of being a computer tech, I suppose ­ if it doesn't move at light speed, it doesn't keep my attention. This time the challenge was to keep up an exercise routine for 30 days straight, with no forgetfulness or excuses. If I succeeded, I got the new piercing. If not....well, I obviously wasn't strong-willed enough for my tastes. But, after 30 days I was still going, and off to the piercer's I went. Hurdle number two, accomplished. Another five months passed, and again the feeling came. By now, I was noticing a pattern. Almost every religious holiday that passed, I had the urge to get a piercing. Which, in and of itself, is not that stunning, but it definitely started me thinking. Psychological self-development and conscious psychological self-conditioning is a large part of Satanic "spiritual work." Some people sing hymns, we work on strengthening and expanding our physical and mental abilities. Both piercings I'd had thus far were spiritual/psychological in nature ­ something weak about myself, which had to be overcome. Each piercing was by nature an obstacle ­ pain, bleeding, torn skin, potential infection. Each piercing was a visible mark upon myself that YES, I had faced that part of myself and defeated it. Even if the world at large did not understand the importance of that bar through my skin, I did. And I was proud to show it off.
This is when I decided on my "project." A piercing (or multiple piercings) related to each sensory organ. The symbolism behind this is the search for truth ­ a difficult, long, and often painful process in and of itself, as any seeker can tell you. And, much like a piercing, the truth marks you ­ inside, with enlightenment and sorrow, instead of outside with bars and metal rings.
So again I was pierced, this time in celebration of my 21st birthday (one's birthday is a high holiday in Satanism, and mine naturally falls near the Autumn Equinox as well), and a renewed dedication to my chosen pathway in life. Twin vertical labrets, through my lower lip. Small steel fangs, in a manner of speaking ­ the Serpent's Wisdom is a key part of the Satanic mythos. I have one piercing left to complete the set ­ a septum piercing, scheduled for the next major holiday, Samhain (Halloween). When it is finished, the set will be done: seeking truth, no matter how painful, through all my senses, in all my world. Truth in hearing, truth in sight, truth in speech and taste, truth in touch, and even truth in scent. And when people say, "Doesn't it hurt?", I smile and say, "Yes, but it's worth it." Truth is worth a little pain.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 Oct. 2000
in Ritual

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